After a small blip against Pakistan, hosts and World Number 1 side England are set to take on yet another Asian opposition when they play tricky Bangladesh in Cardiff on Saturday (June 8).
Eoin Morgan’s charges started their World Cup campaign with a thumping win against the South Africans before meeting Pakistan, who’s bowlers turned on the heat and handed them a 12-run defeat.
Bangladesh’s started in a similar fashion, but made more noise, quite literally, when they defeated South Africa before allowing New Zealand to edge past.
Come Saturday, expect England to turn to their x-factor Jofra Archer as they look to dismantle what is an otherwise gritty and efficient batting line-up. With the likes of Mark Wood and Chris Woakes backing him up ably, Bangladesh can expect to have their task cut out.
With Adil Rashid is expected to miss the game due to injury, Moeen Ali will have his hands full against some good players of spin.
“All we have talked about is sticking to what we do well,” Morgan said.
“Even before the tournament, we talked about losing games, how we would react and what we would counter that with.
“It goes back to focusing on ourselves and our strengths and how we can get the best out of ourselves.”
Mashrafe Mortaza will hope his experienced batting line-up with Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar and the likes can come up trumps during what is bound to be one of their toughest games.
Skipper Mortaza, however, will also have his task cut out against the hosts, who are in fine nick with the bat.
For Bangladesh to have any level of success in the contest it will be crucial for the ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to have one his best days at the World Cup.
"I think they (England) are one of the biggest side in this tournament. It's not going to be easy, we knew that," said Mashrafe. "But again, if we can play our best possible cricket, you never know."
Sophia Gardens is likely to assist the seamers, which is good news for England, while Bangladesh are returning to the scene of one of their greatest triumphs - a 2005 ODI win over Australia, then as world champions, that is arguably the biggest upset in the history of international cricket. Mortaza featured in that stunning five-wicket victory.
Last Five ODIs
The hosts won their last ODI series against Pakistan 4-0 and started the World Cup with a 104-run win over South Africa. But will look to get back to winning ways after an unexpected defeat against Pakistan in their second game.
Bangladesh: L W W W W
Bangladesh came into the World Cup on a high having won a tri-series involving West Indies and Ireland and began their campaign with a morale-boosting win against South Africa, before losing a closely contested game against New Zealand.
Players to watch out for:
Jofra Archer: The fast bowler has added some much-needed menace to the England bowling attack and considering the form he is in and the speed at which he bowls, he will be a threat in conditions that will favour the bowlers.
Shakib Al Hasan: The all-rounder is possibly Bangladesh’s most important player and with this likely to be his last chance at World Cup glory, one expects him to take every chance to shine. His performances in a game often decides how his side fares.
England: Liam Plunkett is expected to replace injured Adil Rashid as Eoin Morgan expects seam bowling to play a huge role in Cardiff.
Bangladesh: Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has a fully fit squad to pick from.
England: Eoin Morgan (C), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal.